JHS graduate Caleb Holaway took his Crimson valedictorian honors southward to Maryville College in St. Louis with the intent of entering the pre-med program. That’s still Caleb’s goal as he pursues a degree in biochemistry, but young Holaway has never been one to settle for a single passion. As a result, this young biology major from Jacksonville has been handpicked to study under Peter Henderson, the premiere pianist for the St. Louis Symphony.
Holaway was taking a few piano lessons from a Maryville instructor when his teacher noticed that something very special was happening at the ends of Caleb’s fingers. The boy had talent worth cultivating. So she recommended he audition to become a student of Henderson’s and arranged an audition. “I didn’t know what to play,” said Caleb, “so I played ‘The Maple Leaf Rag.’” Henderson thought that was a pretty funny choice. He looked a Caleb and said, “You know it’s not supposed to be played that way, don’t you?” A bit red-faced, Caleb admitted that he tends to play the iconic Scott Joplin rag at breakneck speed. So Henderson to the keyboard himself and played the number at normal speed in what Caleb thought was three different keys. “It was really cool watching him,” said Holaway. The result: Caleb Holaway will now be studying under the pianist for the St. Louis Symphony. He’s already earned a spot as lead pianist for the Maryville Jazz Orchestra, become a member of the Autism Speaks chapter as well as CRU, a Christian organization along with carrying a full academic load. “I guess I’ll be busy next semester,” said Holaway.
Caleb is the son of Julie Ketcham and Mark Holaway, both of Jacksonville.